Jail Break

The hero read off the list of charges as Atticus Q. Redghost, villain, sat quietly. “I will not speak without my lawyer.” And like that, the interview was over. Atticus was lead to a tiny cell and left alone.

The entire jail house was magically sealed— nothing can teleport in or out, Gates and Portal spells would fail instantly. Guards and sentry spells lined the walls, but the best laid plans of construction and fortification often crumble in the wake of unkempt technology.

“Atticus,” the huge octopus said with mock bitterness as he entered the cell, “I don’t have time for this.” The villain’s lawyer had arrived after about an hour of patient waiting. Three tentacles wrapped the villain in a tight hug while two others opened the cell’s door locking mechanisms before the watching guards could react. “This is my busy season, you know. You have the worst timing at getting caught. Always do!”

Atticus raised his eyebrows into an innocent expression. “But I like to keep you on your toes.”

“Toes! Toes!” the octopus hollered. A quick tentacle-punch pushed the guards from the room, the door sealing automatically behind them. The octopus turned his attention to the opened keypad and began pulling wires and plugging them into a small computer strapped to one of its many arms. Odd, electronic noises drowned out the guards and their demands to be let back in. The octopus had taken over the jail’s self defense mechanisms and targeted the prison workers, and in about 30 seconds, they will all be knocked out cold.

“Are you seeing this?” the octopus cried out incredulously. Atticus smiled politely and looked on with genuine interest and no understanding. “They took a CH-23H lock and used it in a HC-23C door. This is just sloppy.” The octopus chided wordlessly before returning his attention to the lock. “It is so easily,”click click cl-ack-ack “hacked, granting anyone access to the entire block. No sense of workmanship. And! They haven’t updated the drivers in years!” The door opened and the entire corridor’s lighting pattern seemed to have shifted. There were more shadows, the control panels on the walls were open. The air itself felt different, as if magic and technology were fighting unsuccessfully to regain control.

“After you sir.” “No, after you, sir, I insist.” “Thank you sir.” “Most welcome, sir.”

Casually, the pair wandered down the hallway. Cameras that would normally alert headquarters purposefully looked away from the pair. “So what is all this about?” the octopus asked. “Everyone gets caught occasionally, no?” Atticus replied, ever the trickster.

“Yes, yes, and the high tide always follows the low,” the octopus mocked joyfully. They paused at an unattended staff station. “I’ve triggered the fire alarm before we left your sparse accommodations, by the way. We have all the time in the world, so I’ll do a bit of shopping while we’re here.” Six tentacles rapidly typed out lines of code on the station’s computer. The screen went black as hidden menus were summoned and lock screens were effortlessly bypassed. “So, really, what is this about?”

Atticus looked up from his rifling, his fingers indexing various files. “Can’t I call up an old friend without an ulterior motive?”

“You called me to break you out of jail!”

“And yet here you are,” Atticus gestured incredulously with one hand as the other stuffed a pack of paperwork and files into someone’s satchel, “stealing databases! Having the time of your life!”

“My fee is steep,” the octopus replied with a gurgling laugh that sounded like water passing through a garden hose. “Atty,” he said as he stared at the villain with large, alien eyes. “That’s why we’re here? Did you set up this entire excursion to allow me to steal their files?”

“You have a better way?” Atticus took out the satchel owner’s personal effects and stacked them on the desk in a neat pile. He only wanted the container to carry his stolen paperwork. “I could have just hacked their computer!” the octopus chortled with its wet laugh.

“We’ve both been so busy, we keep canceling plans. I’ve missed you,” the villain said quietly. The octopus paused its work and wrapped the villain in a warm hug that lasted several minutes.

Vampires, Ghosts & Wraiths Oh My! greeting card

Vampires, Ghosts & Wraiths Oh My! greeting card ($1.50)

Friendly to adoring notes for that special something that lurks just out of reach, just out of sight, but never out of mind.
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